Sinn Fein councillor expelled from party claims he was 'stabbed in the back'
SINN Fein President Gerry Adams was among the party top brass who sanctioned the expulsion of a sitting councillor and the suspension of his colleague.
The party’s operation in Cork has been rocked by the decision, which followed an internal probe.
Councillor Kieran McCarthy has been expelled from the party, while councillor Melissa Mullane has been suspended for 12 months.
The two politicians disciplined have 21 days to appeal their sanctions but as of tonight, had not communicated to the party as to their intentions.
Independent.ie has confirmed that a number of Sinn Fein members in the Cork East constituency will also be sanctioned following the internal review.
Several party sources also said that sitting Cork East TD Sandra McLellan had aired serious concerns about the running of the constituency branch in recent weeks.
There had also been tensions between Ms McLellan and both councillors that have been subjected to disciplinary procedures. Both Mr McCarthy and Ms Mullane had expressed their desire to contest the upcoming General Election, as had deputy McLellan.
Several party figures who spoke to the Independent.ie confidentially said the charges against both councillors were serious. But sources refused to divulge the exact nature of the issues that led to the disciplinary action for fear it would "compromise due process".
Mr McCarthy, who is a Cobh-based councillor, this evening claimed he has been “effectively stabbed in the back” by his party.
“After serving Sinn Fein for 34 years and making a number of personal sacrifices along the way, the party has effectively stabbed me in the back. What it has not done is to state the real reason why it wanted rid of me and Cllr Melissa Mullane, the two individuals who just happened to express an interest in contesting convention in Cork East in the coming election,” he said on his Facebook page.
“No matter what happens from here on in, I will continue to work as hard as ever for those who supported and voted for me last year and for anyone who needs my help as a Councillor.
"What happened this morning was a blatant attempt to over-ride the democratic process and stifle the will of Sinn Fein membership in Cork East who clearly had lost the confidence of the sitting TD,” he added.
In relation to Mr McCarthy’s claims, a senior party figure rejected suggestions that the membership had lost confidence in Ms McLellan.
Neither Ms Mullane or Mr McCarthy responded to calls.
A spokesman for Sinn Fein said: "An internal party review was taken in the Cork East constituency, the findings of which were accepted by the Ard Comhairle on Sunday.
"The findings suggested that a councillor be expelled from the party and another suspended for a period of 12 months."